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South Dakota's Dakota Layers expands

Following losses caused by avian flu, the family operation will build pullet barns and raise its own chicks.

Dakota Layers – one of South Dakota's largest egg farms – is expanding.

The Flandreau, S.D., family farm is building several pullet barns that will house chicks until they are old enough to start laying eggs. One barn, with a capacity of 200,000 chicks, is expected to be operational by the end of January. A second barn will be opened in March. The barns will be located about10 miles away from the egg-laying barns and egg processing center..

"We used to have a contract with another company that provided the chicks. But when the contract came apart, we needed to find a way to provide for our customers' needs, and we knew pullet barns for raising our chicks was that bridge to fill that gap," says Jason Ramsdell, Dakota Layers' vice president.

South Dakota's Dakota Layers expands


In May, avain flu killed off Dakota Layers' entire flock of 1.3 million hens. But the farm recently received a Small Business Administration 504 loan from the South Dakota Development Corporation to build the pullet barns.

"Although the company weathered a difficult storm, it has rebounded well and remains committed to South Dakota," sayus Pat Costello, commission of the Governor's Office of Economic Development. "We are confident Dakota Layers will emerge even stronger, and the new expansion project shows its determination to provide for its customers."

"The SBA 504 loan is an attractive and effective economic development financing tool because of the long-term, reasonable fixed rate," adds Robert Fouberg, SDDC chairman. "I encourage business owners who are interested in finding out more to visit with a GOED loan officer."

"The 504 will give us the additional funds we need to build our pullet barns when we didn't have any income because of the avian flu epidemic," Ramsdell says. "From the beginning, the state has been supportive of our vision for our expansion project.

For more information about Dakota Layers' see www.dakotalayers.com and  http://farmprogress.com/customPage.aspx?p=71.

Source: SD GOED

 

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